Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The legitimate president and the amazing weekend

I came home from class on Friday evening feeling in the mood for an adventure. I think someone was listening to me, as I had a weekend full of excellent coincidences and good times. A very, very political weekend. Let me explain: on Friday night I went to one of my favourite bars nearby - a quaint little place that attracts interesting people. On this night in particular I really lucked out _ as before I knew it in waltzed in a whole load of activists and journalists, eccentrics and such types.... and to cut a long story short I spent Saturday with my new reporter friend Frederico at the National Democratic Convention. Fede introduced me to other journalists and politicians as ¨my comrade madeleine, a foreign observer from Australia¨ and other such titles! The meeting was a culmination of the left wing in mexico, especially the PRD [revolutionary democratic party): Also to cut another long story short, [as a follow up from my earlier post), after a number of discussions in some of the oldest cantinas [pubs] in mexico and attending the policy panels of the party, I have become closer to being a ¨perredista¨ - PRD supporter.

Fede was going to take me as a foreign observer the next morning for an interview he had with a senator... but we went to the wrong sheraton hotel. No matter; on the sunday the convention culminated in a huge march from the statue of the angel of independence to the Zocalo, (main square) of mexico. Bloody long walk, about 2 hours walking and then 2 hours standing in the sun listening to speeches: 4 hour marathon, much more than I have ever done at a sydney protest. There were probably about 250,000 people at the protest... a good turnout, but not nearly as many as the nearly million last july after the fraudulent elections. At that time last year, tens of thousands of people also slept in the streets of the historic centre for over 40 days!!!

I have posted a photo here where I am very close to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the still so named legitimate president by the PRD. He is the guy wearing the beige jacket. This photo was thanks to my PRD mate who got me a great spot.

There are more great enriching experiences to tell of the weekend...opera singing as a form of protest, girls weeping and shouting, sitting in on a radio interview..

But the icing on the cake was when Fede rang me last night from the studio at Channel 11 [like BBC here] and said in a rushed voice ¨I am going to give you a dedication!¨ and in the next two minutes on the TV in front of me was Fede¨s voice on a report about David Hicks. Australia thanks you, I told him.

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